Wednesday & What I’ve been wearing

As we have had a bit of sun, but more importantly a lack of rain, in these parts I’ve had the chance to wear a few of my dresses. This is a few of them(i.e. the ones I’ve remembered to take mirror selfies when wearing).

1.Long sleeved dress made of an old curtain. I bought this fabric intending to make a blanket and some cushions. In fact I did, but didn’t use them so it got turned into a dress. It was from a second hand shop and there was only one length, somewhat damaged. Enough to make this however. I use it more in winter because of the sleeves and the colours (which are amazing I think). Probably from the 60’s? IMG_2284 (1)

2. Silk dress with feather print. This is a bit too fancy for daytime according to some. I ignore those people. One of my pet peeves is when buying a nice silk dress from a store they are lined with synthetic fabric. What’s the point rather? This fabric, a nice light silk, was a gift and I had enough of it to line it with silk also, which makes it ideal to wear in summer as it keeps nice and cool. I do love the print but it is one where I feel my glasses don’t match. IMG_3271

3. Remade dutch wax print. This started as a tunic and trousers that my parents got as a gift from a friend. It was folded away in a drawer somewhere until I got my mittens on it. I saved the detail with  the collar and buttons, but fashioned a dress from the rest. Again; lovely colours, it’s got pockets and it’s a nice cotton. And yes; I wear everything with a black cardigan.IMG_3191

4. Long dress made of my mum’s old jacket and skirt. This used to be two pieces that my mum wore in the 90’s. It’s a thin viscose and a some wear and tear(but also the fact that she is several sizes bigger) left enough fabric for a long sleeveless dress. As I’m sensitive to the sun it’s good to have a few longer pieces for summer least I forget to reapply sunscreen. I have worn this a lot and as it was old fabric it’s on it’s last legs sadly. I love the print on this and have a similar print on a woolly winter dress.

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-Suss

7 kimonojackets every woman needs

At this point it is a well known fact that I love a kimonojacket. I’m partial to jackets(and coats) in general which is because they are easy to use and easy to make. When I advocate that people have a kimono-wardrobe I’m only half joking. They make a lot of sense and since a dramatic sleeve is supposedly very trendy now I find myself being a)on point fashion wise and b)in a position to advocate that a kimono sleeve is the kind of dramatic sleeve to consider. They will not go out of style anytime soon.

  1. The actual kimono. I have a vintage one bought in Paris. I’ve used it many times as a dressing gown but also as outerwear. However no pics that I can take of myself will better illustrate the usefulness and beauty of a kimono than these of Life in a Cold climate.
  2. The instead of a blazer one. I have made, out of an old linnen tablecloth that I dyed blue, a jacket and a pair of trousers in a sort of matador style. This is the closest thing I have to a suit. I probably should get a suit to look professional and further my career or whatever, but this works really well and I get a lot of compliments. It is more likely that I at some point make another set like this in pinstripe. Very useful as separates and packs a punch when worn together. Shown here in a more relaxed way with a t-shirt.IMG_3245
  3. The up-cycled one. There is this tradition of mending jackets using Japanese embroidery which was part of what inspired me to make my patchwork jacket that I’ve shown before. I’ve also made a dressing gown from an old worn out Missoni sheet. Due to a combination of cat and my own clumsiness whatever I wear to loaf around the house needs to be washable in 60 degrees. This one is and very soft too. It is more in the ethos of the Japanese tradition then an exact replication of it. As kimono jackets are easy to make they lend themselves to all matter of recycling of materials. I also have one made out of an old tartan blanket from IKEA. Oh and the one I made out of my parents 70’s curtains is well-used. IMG_0494
  4. The leopard print one. I do not have one of these, not yet. It is something I dream of, one of those mad ideas that I get, and the lack of a good leopard print is what’s stopping me. It needs to be just the right size print for it to look good, leopard print is tricky like that. One day it will happen, and it will be glorious.
  5. The Halston rip-off. Halston, that 70’s designer genius, made a kimonojacket in suede. Oh, to have been alive then to see it. ACNE made a similar thing a few years ago, being very open about where the inspiration came from. At some point I will make one in fake-suede. It will look very sexy in say a mint green or a teal with some jeans and a red lip( ha! I wear red lips with everything because RED LIPS!). I’m sure it’s a manrepeller but I do not care, that jacket will happen.
  6. The knitted one. As previously mentioned, they are easy to make. I am no knitter but I do know how to “knit one,pearl one” and that’s all you need. Then I made the different panels(back,two fronts, and the sleeves) in a rather coarse yarn that was only part wool and stitched it all together. It didn’t take that long as I used size 8 knitting pins(that is huge btw). I have a velvet ribbon in the same colour as a belt. Very good as outerwear, mine is in a deep plum so I use it mostly during autumn.
  7. The high-street one. They are often in fashion and buying a nice one with a floral print to use as a cover up during summer is a great idea.

-Suss

Blue Monday & Mirror selfies

I do not have a crew or even a measly assistant to snap pictures of me wearing my clothes, or someone else I can dress in them so that I can take the photos myself. And I forget to ask friends as I want to talk to them about things that actually matter(books, bacon and what my cat has been up to. Oh and their lives, because they actually have them).

It’s just me,myself and my iPhone, and at this point, a good knowledge of where big mirrors can be found throughout my day. This is some of the things that I have worn lately as I try to use all the clothes that I have, and that is furthermore of my own make.

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Patchwork denim skirt; I went through a big patchwork phase this winter and and at the same time my favorite jeans, a pair of bleached ACNE jeans in the model Hex, fell apart. They got a second life mixed up with other scraps of denim from here and there. I’ve been using it now either with black sandals and a simple kashmir sweater or on the weekends with my beloved Stan Smith sneakers and a white t-shirt.

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Patchwork kimonojacket; Ignore the smudge on the mirror, and possible forget my skeptical face. I made this around the same time as the skirt. This jacket however has proven to be a surprisingly good summer cover up. It looks very good like this with denim but also with a simple dress underneath for an easy evening out or with trousers and a silky top. It has reminded me that I really really need a simple navy blue evening bag.

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Tablecloth to clothes-skirt; This fabric was woven by my mother actually. She made two different settings on the loom, alternating the colours and was intending it as tablecloth. However she never used it and so I snatched it up and used it to make a skirt. It’s linen so very comfortable to wear on warm summer days. Great with this denim blouse or as with everything else I wear;a white blouse and a black cardigan. I wore this a lot last summer with gold sandals and a white silk blouse.

Wearing blue/navy during summer is about as groundbreaking as florals for spring but whatevs. It should also be noted that I do smile, just not in photos.

-Suss

Weekend & what I’ve been wearing lately

I got a comment on a previous post, in regards to my bookish fashion, and I get the odd comment about it on IG as well, so let me adress the issue.

Making clothes inspired by book covers is great fun, the thing is it requires inspiration, materials and space. I’m not as inspired by the covers of what I’m reading now, I have a fair amount of material but nothing that matches any books and my closet is filled to the brim with clothes despite a bit of a spontaneous combustion in the end of 2016. In short; I’m making a few things but mostly I’m using the stuff I have. Although every now and again I end up in bookish attire.

These red and white striped trousers are made by fabric I was given by a friend. I’m enjoying them very much, and as I saw my own reflection in the mirror(having used a public mirror to reapply my lipstick) I noticed a similarity with a much loved literary character; The Moomin mum.

IMG_2925In regards to all the other clothes I’ve made(now and before) that is not necessarily bookish; Is there an interest to see those? Should I try to take pictures of myself in mirrors when I can?

-Suss

Schiaparelli & sound advice?

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The other week I read Shocking life-the autobiography of Elsa Schiaparelli, and I’d like to return to it once more. As I noted on Instagram I felt there was some great stories in this book but the designer’s instance of referring to herself in the third person made it a less then thrilling read. I wish an editor had stepped in at some point.

On the next to last page there is a list of The twelve commandments for women. This does ring a bell, I vaguely remember a Swedish magazine or possibly a radioshow bringing them up at some point, but then again as they are well known what I have to say about them is probably old hat, but here they are. These commandments were written in the 50’s and based on her experiences as a couturier but how do they hold up?

1. Since most women don’t know themselves they should try to do so.

Agreed. Knowing yourself, what suits you and what you need are probably vital for putting together a useful closet.

2. A woman who buys an expensive dress and changes it,often with disastrous results, is extravagant and foolish.

This is still good advice. But there is a certain pleasure in being extravagant and foolish, and buying an expensive dress might get you qualified as that to begin with.

3. Most women (and men) are color-blind. They should ask for suggestions.

I don’t think she means actually color-blind but rather bad a knowing what colours suit them and which go well with one another. Asking for advice is a good strategy.

4. Remember-twenty per cent of women have inferiority complexes. Seventy per cent have illusions.

Really? I would say nowadays the numbers are reversed.

5. Ninety per cent are afraid of being conspicuous and of what people will say. So they buy a grey suit. They should dare to be different.

Supposedly by following commandment three that should be sorted. And a grey suit can be a good base for some wonderful accessories. I wouldn’t mind having a grey suit actually, mixing it up with some chartreuse blouses or a raspberry red t-shirt(long sleeves).

6. Women should listen and ask for competent criticism and advice.

This list isn’t well-written, this should come before number three and then the piece of advice after that should specify  “in particular when it comes to colour”. It’s all very anti-Chanel who’s palette was very much about neutrals. They were enemies of course, Coco once(allegedly) put Elsa in the pathway of a burning candle and she caught fire.

7. They should choose their clothes alone or in the company of a man.

I prefer shopping alone as if I’m out with someone else I will spend more time on helping them then looking for myself. And if women should ask for competent advice, can staff be trusted? Not everywhere, a well-chosen friend is probably better. Personal shoppers can be hired, might not be a bad idea for some.

8. They should never shop with another woman, who sometimes consciously and often unconsciously is apt to be jealous.

Disagree. I’m an excellent shopping partner, and I know other women who are as well. And the women you can’t shop with because of jealousy will probably be like that in other areas of your life too, and maybe that’s not a relationship to invest in or maybe have an honest talk.

9. They should buy little, and only of the best or the cheapest.

This actually sounds rather cool. Still valid. But remember that “fast-fashion” is cheap because the price doesn’t reflect the use of common resources and sub-standard working conditions and is in reality very costly for the environment. Go vintage or second-hand. Swap with friends.

10. Never fit the dress to the body, but train the body to fit the dress.

I’m all for women making time to exercise as it’s vital for a good health but don’t do it to fit into a dress. And in this day and age of prêt-a-porter the clothes are made for theoretical body types. I still have to get stuff fitted for a nice silhouette as I’m between sizes and losing more wight would not be the solution.

11. A woman should buy mostly in one place where she is known and respected, ad not rush around trying every fad.

This is good advice. Establishing a personal connection with sales staff with get you better service and advice.

12. And she should pay her bills.

Schiaparelli herself obviously had a problem because her customers didn’t always pay for the clothes in time and despite being a huge commercial success she wasn’t so financially. But always pay your bills, late fees is a waste of money.

-Suss

Bruises and Batiks

 Most startling of all, a splendid dark cartoon of a black eye was stamped in a ring on my eye socket, in the richest ink of Tyrian, chartreuse and, and plum.

Earlier this year, when I was rereading The secret history by Donna Tartt, I did say that I wanted a dress in the colours of Richard Papen’s bruise. Et voilà;

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Of course this is not chartreuse, it’s yellow, but that’s as close as I’m gonna get I think. I do love a good batik or ombré but I always wear it in the same way; with a black cardigan, black shoes and plenty of lipstick (which is how I wear most things frankly). Must avoid looking like a hippie at all cost.

The fabric came from Mum (as so often), it was an old tunic with matching scarf that had been bought at some point but never used. Well now that the weather has improved I’m wearing this loads.

Things mentioned in this post;

My thoughts on The secret history

-Suss

Stella&Style

Stella McCartney is a designer I admire but actually don’t own anything by. Which is nothing personal, I don’t own much in terms of designer wear actually. But she has a cool style and there are a few things that I’ve seen over the years that I wouldn’t mind owning, but for a lack of funds or not being quick enough before they sell out, I don’t. However I can still use it as a source of inspiration.

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The picture to the left, found on Theoutnet.com, features a striped top, a terracotta coloured bag and a pair of botanical print culottes from Stella McCartney. I’m wearing a striped top I made of some fabric my mum found in drawer somewhere, a pair of terra-cotta suede shorts that I have no idea why I bought the other year (I’v barely worn them as they are too short. No really) and to top it of I’ll be walking around with Blodsbunden by Augustin Erba which has  a botanical print cover; it is one of my most anticipated summer reads.

-Suss